The Property Bargains Unknown to Most People

Posted by

With the current climate of wall to wall property meetings, workshops and training, you would never think that there is a property strategy out there which few people know about.

It is a strategy which is available to everyone and can bag you properties up to 25% below market value in some cases.

I am going to call these properties “public notice properties” and the strategy associated with them “public notice purchases” or PNP for short.

PNP is a great strategy to find no money down deals.

In this blog I will cover:

1. What are public notice properties?

2. Finding public notice properties

3. Public notice purchases or PNP

4. The advantages of PNP

5. The disadvantages of PNP

6. Succeeding with PNP

1. What are public notice properties?

Public notice properties are properties advertised for sale by way of a public notice.

The adverts can be recognised by inclusion of the phrase “notice of offer” or “public notice”.

An advert will typically read:

PUBLIC NOTICE: We advise that an offer has been made on the property in the sum of £x. Anyone wishing to make a higher offer must do so before exchange of contracts

The notice may also include ‘by order of the mortgagees in possession’, telling you that it’s a repossession sale by a lender that has taken possession of the property.

The wording of the notice will vary but the key point is that readers are alerted that an offer has been received and anyone wanting to buy the property needs to put in a higher offer in line with the notice.

The price in the notice is usually significantly below the market price – but the property may be in poor condition. By offering a marginally greater amount, you could end up being the highest bidder and win the right to proceed to exchange of contracts.


2. Finding public notice properties

You will typically find public notice properties in local newspapers or property magazines, on the websites of estate agents and on property portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket.

Usually the properties are homes which have been repossessed by lenders as a result of mortgage arrears.

Such properties are therefore sometimes referred to as “repo properties” or “repo sales”.

If a buyer cannot be found for a public notice property, it will eventually be placed on auction. 

These properties normally sell at a good discount and, if you are a cash buyer and have the ability to move rapidly, you may get a better bargain than you would at an auction – due to the fact that excitable bidders can bid up the auction price to the detriment of the successful bidder. 

3. Public notice purchases or PNP

As a property strategy, PNP is all about the ability to proceed quickly to exchange of contracts and completion.

A seller of a public notice property will usually want a rapid exchange of contracts and a quick completion – not more than 28 days after exchange.

Therefore, if you want to operate this strategy successfully you normally need to be a:

  • Cash buyer or
  • Someone able to purchase as if a cash buyer, for instance by use of a bridging loan.

However, if you have a great mortgage broker and lender and can secure a mortgage exceptionally fast, you can also purchase such properties using a regular mortgage.

However, it is fair to say you are most likely to be successful if you are a cash buyer or can rely on a bridging loan.

Public notice properties are often in poor condition requiring repair or refurbishment and will therefore offer the opportunity to add value.

By adding value and later refinancing, you may be able to take out your contribution to the purchase price, providing you with a no money down or low money down deal. You can therefore use PNP in conjunction with a buy refurbish refinance (BRR) strategy.

You can also use it in conjunction with buy to rent or flipping.


4. The advantages of PNP

The main advantage of PNP is the opportunity to obtain a substantially below market value property before it potentially goes to auction – where in a strong market the price could well be pushed up out of reach.   

Further, PNP works well with a variety of other powerful and lucrative property strategies – especially flipping and BRR.

If you target public notice properties, and develop good working relationships with local agents, you may get first notice of such properties when they come to market.

Your bid could be the one which is notified to the public and if it is not a particularly popular or desirable property, you may find that there are no higher or superior bidders and your low offer is accepted, netting you an amazing bargain. 

5. The disadvantages of PNP

Perhaps the main disadvantage of PNP as a strategy is that you will need to operate within a strict timescale, and may incur time and fees with no certainty that your bid will be accepted or you will successfully complete the purchase.

A lender, or mortgagee in possession, has a legal duty to get the best price, protecting the position of the home owner.

Therefore if you agree a price with a lender and a higher bid comes in later, the lender is likely to proceed with the higher bidder.  Until you exchange contracts, the lender can walk away leaving you with wasted mortgage, valuation and legal costs.

If you are offering the same price as someone else, the lender may go with them if they can exchange contracts faster.

A lender will normally have no knowledge of the property to be able to answer the usual “pre-contract enquiries” your conveyancer would normally raise on your behalf.   

You will therefore need to do you own full due diligence. For instance,  you can talk to neighbours in respect of things such as rights of way and shared facilities. 

In relation to planning permission and building regulations, you may be able to take out an indemnity insurance policy to provide you with some protection.

Lenders will usually not allow any significant amendment to their contract, which can be unfair to the buyer.

Problems, issues or defects with the property are typically “hidden” in the “special conditions of sale” and it is vital that you and your conveyancer study these clauses with great care.

Normally you will be responsible for the property after exchange of contracts – therefore you must ensure that you have building insurance in place from that point. An alternative is to ask your conveyancer to exchange and complete on the same day, if possible.

If you try to amend the contract materially, the seller may withdraw the contract and proceed with another buyer.

You will need to be prudent. Where there are contractual provisions or lack of information giving you cause for concern, carefully assess the risk, consulting with your conveyancer, before going ahead.

You need to exercise particular care when buying a leasehold property, where high or problematic maintenance charges can be one of many possible issues.

If you don’t identify the negatives of the property prior to proceeding, you could end up paying above the odds – not getting a bargain at all.

If you decide to purchase by way of a bridging loan, there are the usual risks or dangers if you are not able to replace the bridging loan with a regular loan on time or at all.

You will therefore need to have a “Plan B” in place to address such an eventuality and minimise your possible financial losses.

There is an element of murkiness to public notice purchases; you can sometimes get the feeling (which may or may not be justified) that you are not playing on a level playing field, and the estate agent is not being completely open and fair.

You can feel particularly aggrieved if your bid is accepted, you put your funding arrangements in place, but then the agent is slow in publishing the public notice, during which time a higher bid comes in – forcing you to up your offer or walk away. 


6. Succeeding with PNP

PNP by its very nature is a strategy involving a significant level of uncertainty and risk.

You may need to bid higher than you would like to have your bid accepted.

However, even after acceptance, another buyer can come in with a higher offer and oust you before you can exchange contracts.

Even if you exchange contracts, you may face further risks if you have to complete in a very short timescale, such as 14 days.

Where you seek to outdo the bid of someone else, you should be careful not to get carried away and offer too much in order to be the winning bidder.

Where you up you offer, do so in relatively small sums at a time (£250 to £1,000 usually)

If you are not a cash buyer, you will need to have a very effective system to ensure that you have due funds in place on time.

It is especially important to have a good conveyancer with experience of PNP and the ability and resources to take all due steps within the strict timeframe which typically applies. 


PNP can be a great strategy to end up with a no money down deal. However, it is a strategy with perhaps more than usual risk.

The fact that another buyer can step in with a higher offer at any point up to exchange of contracts means that you could end up wasting time and money through no fault of your own.

If you embark on this strategy, you need to be confident that you and your advisers can proceed fast to exchange of contracts.

Enjoyed this blog? Please share it with friends.

Have you ever bought a public notice property? What was your experience? Please leave your comments, observations or questions below.

You may also find the following blogs useful:

Think like a property millionaire (the fundamentals of a millionaire mindset)
No money property investing (brief overview of no cost property investing)
Delayed completion (completion is delayed to make a profit)
Seller finance (the seller helps a purchaser to buy)
Lender finance (a lender helps a purchaser to buy)

If you have not signed up to get my latest blogs sent to you weekly, please do so HERE

Dalton Barrett
Rebel Property Coach

Please follow me on Twitter @Dalton1London
You can find me on FacebookInstagram and on YouTube
Please link up with me at LinkedIn

My website is:



One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.